The tourism sector already has many examples of good practice which are helping to making travel and tourism accessible for all. These examples must be better known and used by the industry in order to bring about innovation and improvements on a wider scale. The cases shown on these pages are placed here to generate discussion and inspire change.
No example is perfect but these projects and practices show what has been achieved in many different areas of accessible tourism.
THE ACADEMY WHERE DREAMS COME TRUE!
The Dreams Academy is an international social responsibility project where culture and art education is provided to disabled and socially disadvantaged youngsters free of charge. The project comprises workshops of vocal, rhythm, dance, film, photograph, DJ, instrument, painting and animation. The participants will acquire competency to get a job in their own branches when they complete their workshop trainings.
The 18-month CETA Project has been established by ENAT and its partners in the framework of the European Union's programme "...to support initiatives of public and private bodies, or their existing networks, to contribute to enhancing the sustainability and competitiveness of European Tourism especially for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, while allowing for wider economic, social and environmental benefits to be gained.” (European Commission, DG Enterprise and Industry, Tourism Unit, 2008).
To better serve the over 1.2 million Americans of short stature - defined as people 4' 10" and under with the medical condition of dwarfism, Microtel Inns & Suites now provides accessibility products preferred by Little People at all of our over 300 hotels currently open worldwide.
The accessibility of services we offer is a condition for all people to take part in tourist activities. Providers of accessible services must take into account that we live in a plural and diverse society, as requirements are not equal for all people. Tourism activities should be organized in a way that ensures that people who wish to participate in them can do so freely and voluntarily, in terms of comfort and dignity. This Guidebook explains the methods for ensuring accessible tourism through applying design criteria, management approaches and information strategies.
The city of Stockholm has set a goal, to be achieved at the latest by 2010, to be the most easily accessible capital of the world. The project, "Easy Access", coordinated by Stockholm City Council, plays an important part in reaching this goal. The gains in adapting Stockholm to meet the needs of disabled persons, thereby making it possible for them to participate fully in the social life of the city, are numerous. A society that extends a welcome to everybody to participate in the city´s life, becomes a community that inspires all and sundry to care for her/his fellow-beings. Increased accessibility for disabled persons to points and places in the city also means ease-of-access for everybody.
Located in the central region of Portugal, Lousã is an area which epitomises the unspoilt beauty of the Serra da Lousã mountain landscape. Following an initiative to host the first National Accessible Tourism Conference in April 2007, Lousã civil society organised a Task Force to plan for the development of Lousã as the first Accessible Tourism Destination in Portugal. The project aims to serve as an example both nationally and internationally. The website which is currently in Portuguese, will be available in English, French and Spanish in due course.
The Euro Access project aims to raise awareness about the transport needs of disabled people and best practices in the EU countries and two EFTA countries, allowing all countries to learn from the best practices. A transferability analysis is used to identify how best to disseminate and apply the results, both at political level and operational level.
At the beginning of 2008, CenterKontura prepared a one-year experimental development Project called SPIT, which was supported by the Fund of the Republic of Slovenia for Promotion of Employment of Persons with Disabilities.
PTaccess analyses the state of accessibility of public transport systems for people with disabilities in Europe. Furthermore PTaccess analyses the costs and benefits of good practice examples in making public transport accessible and will deepen the understanding of the transport related contexts of social exclusion of people with disabilities. This project is supported through the Research for policy support heading of the European Union's Sixth Framework Programme, PRIORITY 8.1 Policy-oriented research, Scientific support to policies -- SSP
The "Flag of Towns and Cities for All" offers to municipalities the opportunity to join a growing group of towns and cities that have committed themselves to improve ther public space, their facilities, transport, buildings and services, improving the life quality of their citizens and visitors.
Why should venue owners consider accessible tourism? This website provides links to a range of resources that tourist venue owners can use to gain insight and develop their services for disabled and elderly tourists. The information was compiled as part of the EU funded 'Happy Tourist' project.
The project seeks to promote disabled friendly tourist facilities in the cross-border area of Slovenia-Austria due to disabled people being deprived from using tourist facilities, as well as the rejection of disabled guests by the tourist organisations. The project is co-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the framework of the Initiative Programme of INTERREG Community IIIA Slovenia-Austria 2000-2006. The initiator of the project is ŠENT – National Association for Mental Health.